The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

July 04, 2005

Stop Software Patents

Not that I think it's going to change much, but I'll place this banner here today to remind you of something with a potentially huge impact on how we use computers:

Tomorrow we can expect the European Parliament's decision on software patents in the European Union. The EP already voted against it once; but this time, thanks to intensive lobbying on part of the big software companies, it seems possible that the Conservative and Liberal parties will vote in favour of it, and that would mean that the law is passed and Microsoft etc. have achieved a huge step in getting rid of Linux and other open source projects.

Posted by Horst on July 4, 2005 09:23 AM to the body electric | Tell-a-friend

dieter said on July 4, 2005 01:18 PM:

Patents are not only useful in getting rid of open source projects, they will also kill most of the smaller Software Producers. After all, playing around with patents demands quite a lot of cash reserves.
I wonder if it is not becoming more rewarding to invest into the refinement of software piracy rather than producing your own software. When you come to a situation where you are sued for a software you invented all by yourself because someone else was faster in having it patented, you might reconsider the argument that piracy is illegal.

Horst said on July 4, 2005 05:00 PM:

The problem with software piracy is that it will only give you pirated copies of existing software, whereas software development is, well, development, resulting in innovative new software.

It's like being stuck in a quagmire vs. progress. It's the resource monopoly that's the bad thing, not the terms of ownership.

dieter said on July 5, 2005 12:53 PM:

I agree. In this case, the resources are so monopolised that some big enterprises can influence legislation to their advantage - to strenghen their monopoly even further.

If you go beyond software patenting you see that there is an enormous effort to patent virtually anything from traditional grains to ethno-medicine. I wonder how hard the total crash will be before we finally find out that we are completely off tracks, here.

Horst said on July 6, 2005 05:38 PM:

Good news: the EP voted against software patents, with quite an impressive majority.

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